During my second trip to Odessa, I had a little extra time. At the same time – the hotel where I mistakenly settled was terrible. The next day I was going to move to a good hotel and going to the conference. Thanks to it I came for free to this Pearl of the sea. At that moment I decided not to waste time and go to see something interesting.
During the planning of the trip, I became interested in the city of Belgorod-Dnestrovsky. It is famous for its Akkerman fortress. As a traveler and a historian, I could not pass by. Therefore leaving my things at the hotel I immediately went to the railway-station. I took a bus to the city of Belgorod-Dnestrovsky and arrived here in a few hours.
There is nothing interesting to say about the city. So I headed straight to the outskirts, where is located the fortress.
In general, the fortress called Akkerman because till 1944 the city of Belgorod-Dnestrovsky (which some people manage to confuse with Belgorod, Belgrade and even Bolhrad) was named Akkerman. Even earlier it was called – Cetatea-Alba. It was founded by Greek colonists in the VI century BC. It was called Ophius and Tyra.
The Golden Horde Khan Berke laid a fortress on the ruins of the Greek settlement in the 13th century. It was called Ak-Libo. It passed into the control of the Moldavian princes in the middle of the 14th century.
The fortress was repeatedly attacked. It was thrice repulsed the attacks and siege of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. It was captured by the Turks only in 1484, as a result of betrayal the elders of the city.
The Turks dominated here for three centuries. The Cossacks under the leadership Sirko, Palia, etc. made hikes and raids on it.
It did not stay aside from the three Russian-Turkish wars. For example, Kutuzov was the commandant of the fortress even for several months.
These lands together with Izmailov, Kealia, Tighin, Hotin was ceded to the Russian Empire in 1812. Then it was included into the Ukrainian SSR. Now it is the territory of Ukraine.
As a military facility, the Belgorod-Dnestrovsky fortress ceased its activity in 1832. And it was declared a monument of architecture in 1963. This is a unique historical and architectural monument of the Middle Ages. It is the largest fortress in Eastern Europe.
By the way, here was shot an incredible adventure film «Captain Nemo» in 1975, which had then and now a huge success! I recommend to those who are not familiar with it – to watch this mini-series after you read the article.
As everything connected with the magnificent and breathtaking stories of Jules Verne, this movie based on the novel «Twenty thousand leagues under the sea» draws to the screen for the entire time of watching!
Today it is easy to get into the fortress for inspection. The remains of the fortifications are in civilian form and must be seen! The total area of the fortress – is 9 hectares! The length of the walls is 2.5 km. It is located on the rocky bank of the estuary.
Previously, it consisted of 4 courtyards, each of which not only had its purpose, but also could conduct independent defense.
There is a magnificent view of the Dniester Estuary from the walls of the fortress and some of the battlements… And if to look on the outside, I personally like to see this interlacing of eras… When a medieval fortress is on the background of Soviet houses…
Knight tournaments and thematic festivals often host on the territory of the fortress. You can look at the examples of medieval weapons in «peaceful» time. But it is a little not the same as looking at real ones which are in the Vienna military-historical Museum.
Information for tourists:
You can visit the fortress in any day, throughout the year, without days off and lunch breaks.
Working hours in summer: from 8:00 to 20:00 (the excursions are from 9:00 to 18:00).
In winter: from 8:00 to 17:00
Official website is http://www.akkerman-fort.org/
How to get there
The easiest way to get to the Akkerman fortress is from Odessa. And there are a lot of options how to get to the Akkerman fortress from Odessa:
By the bus. The buses and shuttle buses № 560 is going straight from the entrance of the railway station. They go about every 15-30 minutes, and the road takes 1.5-2 hours. The end station – is Belgorod-Dnestrovsky railway station. Then you should go on foot to the fortress about 15 minutes.
By the train. From Odessa railway station to Belgorod-Dniester railway station goes the train. It departs every 3-4 hours and takes about 2.5 hours.
By the car. Coordinates for GPS is 46.20111,30.35056
By taxi. If you do not have enough time, you are with a big company or just have extra money – it is a great option to call a normal taxi.